Chiara turned 20 months on Thursday. She’s blossoming into a chatty, quick and even funny little person. She’s not entirely fearless, but she’s adventurous. She’s not one to accept setbacks without trying again. All of this I learn whenever I take her to the playground. First of all, for 20 months, she’s quite ambitious with the playground equipment. she climbs the ladder/stairs up to the medium slide (about 5 feet high) all by herself. once, she fell, but after taking a pause by playing on the low slide (about 2 feet high), she went back, up the ladder, and down the slide. I was so proud of her! she even clapped at the top of the ladder. Yay! she said, with a big smile on her face, all her fingers spread wide while she clapped. That girl knows how to celebrate her own little triumphs.
The way she goes down the slide is a thing to behold as well. She doesn’t look scared, and if she pauses at the top it’s to survey the view rather than to delay the push off. she lets go and smiles all the way to the bottom, hair flying. then she says, yay at the bottom as luke or I catch her and throw her up in the air.
she has tried the tall slide (about 6 or 7 feet), which also curves into a spiral. that wasn’t that successful as she didn’t stay in the middle of the funnel, so her head hit the side of the slide (as gently as it possibly could have when going down a slide I suppose) and when i caught her at the bottom, instead of saying, Yay, chiara said, A-ya — which is Korean for Ouch! so i think we’ll wait a little while longer before encouraging that slide. although i myself want to go down that slide every time i go to the park. it looks like so much fun and I love slides.
chiara is also developing a stubbornness and a whine. she has twice demanded that she walk instead of sit in a stroller, only to then get on her stomach and lie on the asphalt of the street, at a crosswalk, while cars are waiting for the road to clear so they can pass. the first time, i actually laughed because it was so comical. she must know the crosswalk is the absolute worst place for a tantrum. and lying prone. where did she learn that?
as tantrums go, though, i don’t even know that it would measure as one for other moms. she doesn’t cry, she doesn’t kick her legs. she just whines, noooooowwwwuuuhhhh, not even that loud, and instantly assumes the prone position. it’s like the perfect protest body tactic. but i didn’t teach her! luckily she’s still only in the 20-30 pound range so even though she’s like a sack of potatoes, i can manage to pry her up from the tar. she’s a mess always now, with dirt streaks and stains from her knees to her chest, but i try to accept that she will outgrow this at some point.